Back From Tulum
Thanks to previous posters regarding the Tulum area! How did we cope before Chowhound?! Although our small hotel on the beach road had excellent food, no travel experience is complete without some venturing. El Tabano worked so well for the Sig Oth that we ended up dining there for breakfast, lunch and dinner [different days, in case you were worried we camped out!]. Dinner was a candlelit delight only slightly marred [and even then, only temporarily] by a server who really needs to consider another line of work---too easily skitzed out, and frankly, considering the mellow vibe of Tulum...you get my point. The power generator goes down at the start of dinner service pretty reliably [irony, yes] but in spite of the slow pace, the food was DIVINE. Stuffed jalapenos done in light tempura, crunchy salad studded with raw ginger and slivers of mango, a silky chilled mint and melon soup....makes me sputter just to think of it! The wife had the red chicken [slow cooked in a medium spice salsa] and I had chicken cooked in a traditional pumpkin seed paste, one of those remember-all-your-life flavours...Coffee flan for dessert and homemade plantain bread drizzled with warm honey: yeeehaw. Lunch: fish tacos so damned good the ones I had in Miami get a down-grade. Breakfast was awesome: fruit, apricot and date granola, yogurt; good strong coffee [a bit hard to find in this part of Mexico...]; excellent huveos rancheros [the wife] and a fine vegetable and queso omelette. OK enough about a place you would have to be INSANE to miss if in Tulum area: astounding quality for medium pricing and a romantic bohemian locale to boot, jungle side of the road, all cabbies know it, btw. In Pueblo, best value score with tastiest chicken ever: Pollo Bronco. Half a grilled chicken, rice, lots of tortillas, hot salsa and coleslaw plus two agua con gas for about 7 bucks US. Translation: a serious deal right on the Avenida Tulum but so many gringos passed by because it was only Mexican working men eating there. Trust me: a wonderful spot on the east side, a cabbie recommended it along with HC Carnes de Monterey [far end of Avenida Tulum south, west side] which specializes in flank steak and baked spud or baked onion for like 6 bucks US. Muy rico!!!! Also had wicked paletas [fresh fruit popsicles] at Dona Rosa's on east side across from bus station, 1 dollar a glorious slab, yum, purified water if you are worried. The worst meal hands down: Tita Tulum, a beach road restaurant with skanky vibe and the only bout of stomach weirdness the whole trip, though serves me right for eating against my deeper chowhound instincts: the crowd wouldn't know a hotdog from a cork. And beach road restos are often not great plus costly, with some exceptions. Heard good things about La Nave but was not seeking Italian food while in Mexico. Don Cafetos held no appeal, heard great things about Urge [?] Tacos but ran out of time. Wicked good coffee at a pastry shop east west side of the Avenida but the name of it seems to have included Fantasia, never did find out after gorging on a creamy Napoleon slice with Americano coffee. Can't say enough about the delicious Mayan honey either! Have to go back and have dinner at Si'an Kaan Bioreserve which apparently has a resto with a sunset view to remember. Sunset starts early in Tulum though! Pollo Bronco was the best find next to the pilgrimage to El Tabano.